Applications will be accepted until May 27, 2022, or when funds are expended, whichever comes first.

Overview

The Business Incubation and Commercialization Grant Program provides financial support to incubators and entrepreneurship organizations interested in creating business formation, innovation, and job creation in Toronto and who provide robust programming to nascent entrepreneurs, businesses and start-ups.

This program is designed to support not-for-profit entrepreneurship, incubation and accelerator activities whose primary goals are to create businesses and jobs, encourage the development of new ideas, and work towards organizational efficiency, sustainability and while utilizing industry best practices.

This program does not provide grants to individual for-profit businesses, but instead is aimed at organizations that offer entrepreneurship and incubation or acceleration programming to entrepreneurs.

Objective

The Business Incubation and Commercialization Grant Program supports the development of entrepreneurship and incubation activity in a manner that is fully accessible, transparent and accountable and aligned with the City of Toronto’s goals of access, equity and inclusion.

Funding Available

There are two streams within the program offering funding:

  • Multi-Year Operating (3 year cycle)
    • Up to 20% of eligible expenses, to a maximum of $100,000, for applicants in the multi-year operating stream. Grants will be dispensed in two parts: 75% provided upfront and 25% held back until completion.
  • Programs and Events
    • Up to 50% of eligible expenses, to a maximum of $20,000, for programs. Program grants will be dispensed in two parts: 75% provided upfront and 25% held back until completion; or
    • Up to 50% of eligible expenses, to a maximum of $10,000, for events. Event grants will be dispensed in a one-time payment.

Annual operating, project, event or development funding received in one year does not guarantee funding in subsequent years.

Eligibility and Requirements

Eligibility

The Business Incubation and Commercialization Grant Program is available to the following types of not-for-profit organizations that provide incubation-type programming to entrepreneurs:

  • Pre-Incubator: an organization that offers programming such as development of client’s business idea. Services typically include: business advisory support, mentoring, networking and market research.
  • Incubator: an organization that adds programming such as implementation of a business idea into actual operation while providing various supports throughout the process, such as business advisory support, office or studio space, shared industrial/commercial equipment, product/prototype development, mentoring, networking and market research.
  • Accelerator: an organization that focuses on rapid growth through the provision of strategic financing and market readiness strategies. Services typically include: financing or investment, business advisory support, mentoring and office or studio space.
  • Education Institution: an organization such post-secondary institution that includes entrepreneurship and business support as part of its curriculum and programming.
  • Industry Association: an organization that represents a certain business sector and has a focus on entrepreneurship and sector development.

To be eligible for funding, not-for-profit organizations must also demonstrate:

  • Programming that is Toronto-centric and support Toronto-based entrepreneurs and startups.

Multi-Year Operating Stream Requirements

Applicant organizations must meet the following to be eligible for Multi-year Operating Stream:

  • Have been incorporated for three years or more and has paid staff.
  • Have programming tailored specifically to company formation and job creation.
  • Demonstrate a history of successful entrepreneurship and robust incubation or accelerator programming for three years or more.
  • Be able to provide its most recent audited financial statements demonstrating revenues between $100,000 to $1 million.

Programs and Events Stream Requirements

Applicant organizations must meet the following to be eligible for the Programs and Events Stream:

  • Have been incorporated for at least two years.
  • Programming can cover a range of entrepreneurship and innovation development including pre-incubation, incubation and accelerator activities, as well as one-time or a series of networking events with targeted sectoral or demographical reach and impact.
  • Demonstrate a history of successful entrepreneurship, campus entrepreneurship, or social enterprise programming.
  • Be able to provide a comprehensive budget for review with its application, demonstrating revenue of less than $100,000 for Programs or $50,000 for Events.

Ineligibility

Individual businesses are ineligible to apply for or participate in the program.

Eligible organizations cannot:

  • Be taking any equity from the start-ups it supports.
  • Apply for or participate in more than one stream of funding per year, or
  • Apply for new or additional grants if applicant is receiving funds through a multi-year agreement under previous program framework, until such time that their existing funding agreement has ended.

How to Apply

Complete the online application below with all the required documentation by May 27, 2022. Applications are accepted only through the online application portal and will not be accepted after the deadline.

Please have the following documents ready to upload, depending on which funding stream your organization qualifies:

  • Multi-Year Operating Stream:
    • Proof of not-for-profit status
    • Your organization’s program staff compliment and most current board of directors team
    • Most recent audited financial statements demonstrating revenues between $100,000 to $1 million.
  • Programs and Events Stream:
    • Proof of not-for-profit status
    • Your organization’s program staff compliment and most current board of directors team
    • Comprehensive budget demonstrating revenue of less than $100,000 for Programs, or less than $50,000 for Events.

Complete the online application

Need more information? Register for an upcoming virtual information session on May 3 or May 5.

For any questions or help completing the form, please contact Nina Gesa at 416-392-3386 or nina.gesa@toronto.ca.

Application Process

Applications will be reviewed and scored by an assessment panel comprised of community advisors (where possible) and City staff. Applications will be assessed using the above noted criteria as well as a scoring system built on four key program priorities:

  1. Program Alignment
  2. Program Impact and Engagement
  3. Organizational Capacity
  4. Financial Sustainability

Please note that all decisions concerning eligibility and funding amounts are final.